Jean Webster is an American writer and author of many books. Her works include Daddy-Long-Legs, Dear Enemy, and When Patty Goes to College. Her most famous books features young active female characters who are intellectually, morally, and socially competent. She also uses stylish dialogue in her stories that makes them interesting. Her works also reflect her being an activist. Other than being a prolific writer, she was also an active advocate of social reforms for orphans and prisons which are very evident in the story Daddy-Long-Legs.

How does it feel to grow up without a biological family, to grow without a mother who takes care of you, and to grow without a father who protects you? These are the feelings that Jerusha Abot, also known as Judy, experienced in the beginning of the story. We first meet her in the John Grier Home for orphans. Because she does well on her studies as a high school student, one of the trustees of the orphanage offers her a scholarship in college.

In return, she wants Judy to write him letters about all her activities in school for him to be updated about her performance. However, he wants to remain nameless that’s why he chose to be addressed using the pseudonym John Smith. She is also to expect no reply from him that’s why we can see it as a one-sided correspondence. Throughout the story, the letters of Judy to Daddy-Long-Legs are shown. With his personality remaining hidden, she gets desperately curious about him. She gets to experience new things in life and to encounter different people.

Over the years of being in college, Judy grows into an alluring woman with a cheerful personality who takes massive pleasures even with simple things in life. This is the reason why people, whether young or old, find her fun to be with. In the end, Judy finds out who the person behind Mr John Smith is. She is pleased to know that he is Jervie Pendleton, her very cordial friend and the uncle of her roommate Julia. Before she even knew, there’s already something romantic going on between them. After the revelation, the story ended with them being together.

The author introduced a particular way of telling a story by using letters. This was my first time to read a book composed of 10% interaction among characters and 90% storytelling through letters. It can be seen from the words used that the author has a very good sense of humor. Also, the story was presented in simple language that makes it easy to understand. We can see in the story that as Judy grows and improves intellectually, the author also improves the choice of words. From using simple words, she ended up using rich words.

Another thing I like about it is that it is optimistic in nature. The characters exemplify lively personalities that also uplift the moods of its readers. Lastly, it teaches us many things about how to achieve happiness in life. It shows that life is like a game, and whether we lose or win we must embrace its results wholeheartedly for from these experiences, failures and successes are where we learn. It was said that the author introduced a unique way of telling a story, this may be a plus point for the book however, it made the story somehow boring.

I was expecting the characters in the story to have “real” interaction with each other. It may not be true but I find its ending quite predictable that lessened my excitement in reading towards the end. Another thing is that, it lacks major conflicts that can make the story more interesting. There may be problems experienced by the characters but it didn’t show clearly how these affected them. Lastly, I had a lot of questions in mind that were not answered in the end of the story that’s why I consider it as hanging.

Why did Mr Pendleton hide his true identity? Why didn’t he reply to Judy’s letters? What did he feel about them? Overall, I can consider the book as something worth reading. As a college student, I can relate to Judy especially with the hardships that she undergoes with her studies. I think people of any age would enjoy reading the story. However, I recommend it to those who are in adolescence and late childhood stage because it has a lot of things that the youth can relate to.